Last Thursday, Ivy Film Festival presented a free screening of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in Martinos Auditorium. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is cinematic adaptation of the eponymous novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, which is in turn based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Grahame-Smith’s story has an obvious twist: the Bennet girls, though mostly the same, now hunt both husbands and zombies. The film is not slated to hit theaters until February 5, 2016, which was made abundantly clear by the
excessive stringent security measures at the entrance to the screening (phones were taken at the door, security guards were wanding patrons on the way in, and a man with binoculars scanned the audience for the entirety of the showing). For a screening in the midst of finals madness, the turnout was substantial (evidenced by the amount of bagged phones).
On Sunday, I went to the final IFF event, an advanced screening of Judd Apatow’s new film Trainwreck. I won’t lie, I was somewhat dubious about the film before the screening. Was it a RomCom? A regulation Apatow comedy without Seth Rogen? Where did it fall on the spectrum between Bridesmaids and The 40-Year Old Virgin? After two hours in Granoff, I still don’t think I can define it, but I will say: it was AMAZING. And seriously got me thinking.
Amy Schumer, the hottest lady in comedy right now, stars as Amy (so creative, right?), a writer at a ridiculously hetero-normative men’s magazine in New York City (one article pitch is, “Are you gay, or is she just boring?”). She may be doing alright professionally, but in her personal life, she is a hot mess. Believing that “monogamy is unrealistic,” a lesson her dad taught her at a young age, Amy gets drunk/high, hooks up with randos, and stumbles home with reckless abandon on the regular. I obviously have no problem with random hook ups and one night stands, but Amy really takes it to a new level. Thanks to a random assignment on a successful sports doctor, she meets Aaron, played by Bill Hader at his most adorable, and the rest of the movie is the story of Amy’s first real relationship.
I left the movie with my friends, gushing about how cute it was, in addition to retelling our favorite jokes (I literally had tears streaming down my face at one scene with Amy on a therapeutic treadmill). We all cooed about how much we want a relationship just like Amy and Aaron’s, which was so natural and fun and believable. I started thinking about relationships in college in general, something I often think of as rare and harder to find than Josiah Carberry. Because while I’ve definitely hooked up with a lot of people in college, I have not ended up in a relationship with any of them. Was no one willing to settle down?
I walked into the Avon expecting to see indie-er version of True Grit. Instead, I was taken along an absurd 84-minute adventure through director John Maclean’s surreal vision of the American West.
Slow West follows the hapless journey of Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a young Scotsman making his way across the frontier in pursuit of unrequited love. In the opening scene, Silas (Michael Fassbender), a rugged and mysterious outlaw, saves Jay from bandits and offers to chaperone him for the rest of his journey in exchange for money. As they ride on, they are pursued by a hodgepodge group of bounty-hunters, and Silas’s true motive for accompanying Jay is revealed.
The film is a parody of a western movie with an interesting twist, since the main character is European. Some scenes are cliché to the point of hilarity, while others are punctuated by dark humor that leaves the audience chuckling in the wake of extreme misfortune.
However, it would be wrong to label Slow West as a comedy. Death and violence in the movie come out of desperation. In one scene, Silas shoots an immigrant mother who attempts to rob a general store with her husband. As Silas leaves, two young freshly-orphaned children are seen waiting outside, utterly helpless.
I know enough about movies to say that this was a really important scene.
There’s nothing like attending a film festival to remind you that you know absolutely nothing about cinema. That was the first thought I had as I took my seat for the Ivy Film Festival’s screening of “Sisterhood of the Night.”
It turned out to be an incredible film, my cinematic ignorance notwithstanding. The premise is that of a modern-day Salem witch trial that grips a sleepy suburban town. A group of girls form a secretive cult called The Sisterhood of the Night, and allegations soon surface that the girls are sexually abusing their recruits. But the girls won’t say anything, because they’ve taken a vow of silence.
The scandal balloons as parents and the local media become involved and misinterpret everything. As it turns out, the Sisterhood’s intent is entirely harmless: The girls are just sharing their secrets and insecurities with each other in a world that doesn’t listen to teenage girls.
The film is beautiful and spooky, with lots of ethereal nighttime scenes of the girls running around through the darkness. The film plays off clichéd high school drama in way that’s both funny and self-aware. The characters are lovable, and the quiet suburban setting gives the whole film a slightly dystopian feel.
All in all I really liked it, but I don’t know shit about movies, so take that with a grain of salt.
This year’s Ivy Film Festival will be held April 6 – 12. The festival is one of the largest student-run film festivals in the world, held annually for a week each spring. Last year, IFF brought us a variety of keynote speeches, panels, workshops, and screenings; there was a showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel, followed by a Skype Q&A with director Wes Anderson, a lecture by filmmaker Casey Neistat, an advanced screening of Neighbors, screenings of student selected films, and a panel on women in entertainment.
Now under a month out, IFF is in the midst of hosting a raffle for an all-access festival pass, good for all events for the winner and a friend. The raffle is open to everyone with a valid @brown.edu or @risd.edu email. To enter, share the IFF’s Facebook status as public by Wednesday, April 1.
IFF is also hosting an Instagram contest from Wednesday, March 18, through April 1. IFF is asking members of the Brown and RISD community to post an original photo that deals with a “movie moment from your life.” Valid submissions must be tagged with @ivyfilmfestival and #iff2015. The 1st place winner will win an all-access festival pass for them and a friend. Two 2nd place winners will receive Avon tickets for them and a friend. Three 3rd place winners will receive ~~IFF swag~~.
Thursday, February 19:
If you caught Sunday night’s episode of Girls, you’ll remember that the show introduced a new character named Mimi Rose Howard, who went to RISD and graduated with a BFA in Sculpture. If this reference whet your appetite for gallery-hopping at the neighborhood art school, you’re in luck! Thursday is packed with back-to-back openings. May you meet many young artists who go by “a woman’s name and a man’s name with a flower stuck in the middle of it.”
Event: Apparel Department Opening Reception
Location: Woods-Gerry House, 62 Prospect St.
Time: 6 – 7:30 p.m.
This exhibition will showcase the work of RISD’s Apparel undergraduates: consider it the Providence version of Fashion Week.
Event: ‘2015 RISD Faculty Biennial’ opening reception
Time: 7 – 9:00 p.m.
RISD’s version of the Whitney Biennial, this show highlights new work by the artists and designers who teach at RISD. The museum guarantees a show as diverse as RISD’s course catalog, boasting apparel, textiles, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, sculpture, illustration, photography, jewelry, metal-smithing, graphic design, industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture, film, animation, digital media, furniture, and more.